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A Survivor of Domestic Violence, NJ’s “First Lady of Weed” Wins Her Conditional License

Debi Madaio wants her new dispensary, The Weed Stalk, to act as a safe and supportive haven for all women in the cannabis community.




A domestic violence survivor, Debi Madaio is celebrating her cannabis ‘wins,’ including the opening of her new shop, The Weed Stalk in Somerset, NJ. PHOTO PRNEWSWIRE

Debi Madaio is recognized by many as Trenton, NJ’s “First Lady of Weed.” As the former owner of NJWeedman’s Joint, a once popular marijuana-themed eatery located in the state’s capital city, Madaio has honed her legacy as a heroic cannabis entrepreneur. But Madaio believes her biggest triumph is as a survivor of domestic violence and the darkness that lurked behind the scene at NJWeedman’s Joint.

“I had been led to believe that I had no identity or merit. Like so many survivors, I was made to feel like my role, my support and my financing was inconsequential to the bigger picture,” reveals Madaio. “But I’m still here, I’m thriving and more importantly, my contribution to the cannabis community is still being seen and recognized.”

Located near Trenton City Hall, NJWeedman’s Joint was founded by Madaio in 2015. She operated it with her then-boyfriend and partner, Edward Forchion, aka “NJWeedman.” The colorful NJWeedman’s Joint went on to become a popular tourist spot and media darling—through good times and bad—as it pressed the limits of cannabis in a state where it was still illegal. It was New Jersey’s daily paper, The Trentonian, however, that first went public with the misfortune Madaio suffered at the hands of her partner.

“I’m in a place now where I’m finally empowered as a DV survivor because honestly, the entire ordeal nearly killed me,” says Madaio.

The registered nurse and cannabis activist has since become an influential force behind the cannabis scene in New Jersey. Madaio is now celebrating several cannabis ‘wins’, including the opening of her new shop at at 646 Hamilton Street in Somerset, NJ; the awarding of a New Jersey conditional cannabis license; and inclusion on the Insider NJ 100: Cannabis Power List.

Now, as the sole proprietor of one of the first woman-owned dispensaries in the state, her plan is for The Weed Stalk to be a safe and supportive haven for all women in the cannabis community.


“My new storefront, The Weed Stalk LLC, is symbolic on so many levels. I’m the tiny seed that was covered in dirt and darkness, yet I was still able to grow and reach for the light,” says Madaio. “If just one woman hears my story and is empowered, I am eternally grateful.”

Visit the Weed Stalk online at



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